Children need to eat a wide variety of foods to get the nutrition they need to grow. But not all foods pack the same nutritional punch. Try these tips for adding nutrient-dense foods to your child’s diet:
Serve Up Seaweed – Sprinkle spring kelp flakes onto favorite foods or toss handfuls of dulse into spaghetti sauce, soups, and salads. Kids love salty dulse paired with some fruit, cheese, veggies or hummus.
Take Stock – Among other benefits, broths and stocks made by scratch from beef, chicken, turkey, and vegetables contain readily absorbable minerals. Use it to make soups, rice, or mashed veggies.
Go Green – Blend a stalk of kale or other leafy greens into a smoothie, juice, or soup. Invest in a powerful blender for a smooth consistency. You can also hide greens in homemade lemonade or carrot juice. Many kids will drink pure celery or cucumber juice; adding mint to chilled cucumber juice makes for a refreshing summer drink.
Ice is Nice – Frozen pureed vegetables in small pouches are now available in some supermarkets. Take advantage of such a year-round convenience by sneaking these ready-made fruits and vegetables—excellent sources of vitamins and minerals—into spaghetti sauce, muffins, and cookies.
Get Gutsy – Organ meats like liver are an excellent source of B-vitamins, iron, and zinc—all vital for growth. Tuck small, broiled pieces into blended soups, chilis, hamburgers, or spaghetti sauce.
Boost Baking – Blackstrap molasses adds iron and works well in baked goods and oatmeal. Sesame seeds add calcium and interest to cookies and bars.
Add Some Sunshine – Vitamin C, aptly coined the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’, aids the body in absorbing iron. Trade out regular French fries for sweet potato fries – the latter are higher in vitamin C. Top iron-fortified cereal with cut-up kiwi or strawberries. Puree vitamin C-rich broccoli and tuck it into meatballs, lasagna or pasta sauce.